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Easy Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

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sweet and spicy bbq sauce in a jar

Summer has not officially ended until you try my homemade Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce! It’s the perfect blend between sweet and tangy with a hint of spice made with a tamarind paste for an Indian twist (don’t let tamarind paste deter you as there are substitutions to obtain a similar taste)!

sweet and spicy bbq sauce

The inspiration came from creating my famous Indian fusion ribs that starts with an Indian spiced rub of spices like garam masala, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, ground ginger…… that marinates for 24 hours then cooked in the pressure cooker to seal in the flavors finished with my Sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce to compliment it for the full savory experience!

sweet and spicy bbq sauce with ribs

The sweet and Spicy BBQ sauce is made with onions, fresh ginger, fresh garlic with the spice of serrano pepper with warm spices of garam masala, the smokiness from smoked paprika, sweetness of cumin, tanginess of tamarind paste with salty flavors of worseshire sauce! It hits every tastebud on every single level! I’m confident no grocery store or name brand sauce can match it!

My friends constantly ask: “When are you going to bottle this sauce?!?!”

sweet and spicy bbq sauce

This sauce has been tried and tested on fish, pulled pork, chicken, and even tofu! The results have been consistently out of this world finger licking good!

What is tamarind?

It’s been described as the “Indian Date” that are pods of fruit that taste sweet and sour when ripe and even more sour when unripe or dried. The tamarind tree is native to Asia and Africa, but it also grows in tropical climates around the world.

Fun Fact:

India and Thailand produce the most tamarind, and it holds a prominent place in their cooking. But it’s a staple ingredient in other Asian cuisines, too. You’ll also find it in African and Middle Eastern cooking.

In addition Worcestershire sauce uses a tamarind extract, therefore is very common in UK dishes! Mind Blowing!

Where do you find tamarind paste?

Asian Markets or on Amazon

What to substitute tamarind paste with?

  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Mix equal parts of brown sugar with lime juice
  • Citrus marmelade

Savory’s Tips & Tricks

  • If you find the recipe to be too tangy add more sweetener of choice such as maple syrup, honey, preferred sugar, or even blend dates together for natural sweetener!

Savory’s Pairing Recommendations

Really you can slather this sauce on anything however I highly recommend making my Indian Fusion Ribs.

Try it with fish, tofu, vegetables, pork, and chicken! Did I leave anything out? Wait try it even on eggs or in an breakfast burrito or on pizza! My tandoori chicken pizza coming soon!

Easy Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

Perfect blend between sweet and tangy with a hint of spice that is finger licking good! Slather it on fish, chicken, vegetables, pizzas, or even tofu!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course sauces
Cuisine Indian Fusion
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 onion diced red or white
  • 1 4 in ginger, peeled/minced or shredded or 1 tbsp store-bought ginger paste
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, deseeded/minced
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne or chili powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup honey or brown sugar substitute maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp tamarind paste, concentrated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • salt to taste


  • Heat large sauce pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in dry spices/cinnamon stick to toast for a minute except ground mustard.
  • Add in tomato paste for a minute then add in tomato sauce, molasses, honey, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, and ground mustard. Bring to a boil and decrease heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  • Adjust seasonings accordingly. Blend in blender or use immersion blender. Make sure to remove cinnamon stick before blending.


  • Use equal parts of lime and brown sugar as substitute for tamarind concentrate or
  • Citrus marmalade or 
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Try it on fish, chicken, vegetables, tofu, pizza, ribs, pulled pork, and even in egg burritos! 
Keyword bbq sauce

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Too taking this journey with me—lets see where it takes us……


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